GringoPost | Ecuador: Cuenca Tennis

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Cuenca Tennis

Cuenca Tennis is an inclusive group of tennis players that encourages players of all levels to enjoy tennis and friendship in Cuenca. Whether you are an experienced tennis player or beginner, you will find a welcoming group of expats (and, so far, one Cuencano!) at the Jefferson Perez Coliseo on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 9-noon.

Tennis is "a game for a lifetime," so what better time to play - or learn - than now! For those who already know the game, players rotate in, four to a court for "doubles." Players have different skill levels, which is taken into account when partnering up for each game. During the morning most combinations of mixed-level and same-level players occur, giving everyone the benefit of "playing up" as well as competitive play.

Neil Palmer, Cuenca Tennis regular and long time player (formerly of California), points out that “Persons of all ages, young and not-so-old, can play and enjoy tennis. Tennis requires a certain degree of fitness, but this level can be developed as one plays more often. Tennis is an easy game to learn the basics of, and there are well qualified coaches to help anyone improve their game, whether a beginner or a seasoned player.” Guy Hurst (formerly of Oklahoma), adds another perspective for experienced players: “Tennis is the game that you do not ever master, but trying makes your life whole. Challenging game, but ... I love it!”

Never played or a beginner? Ken Lucero, the administrator for Cuenca Tennis (formerly of California), encourages taking lessons during the Tuesday, Thursday morning hours. “After your lesson, you can rotate in for some game practice and support! We will provide you with contact info for pros that are especially good for doubles, which is what most of the group plays.” Players can also group together for a “clinic,” splitting the cost (something that mid-level and experienced players do, too, to brush up on particular strokes and techniques). A private lesson runs approximately $10/hr while a clinic runs approximately $20/hr for two, but $25/hr for 3 or more.

Cuenca Tennis enjoys fun and friendship off the courts as well, with lunch afterward often "on the table" - especially when there is someone's birthday to celebrate! According to Neil, “I think tennis, more than most sports, is a game where the social side of playing is emphasized. Playing tennis is a great way to meet new people and to enjoy old friends more. I love playing, but more importantly, I really enjoy the friends I've made playing here in Cuenca.”
Ken Yasui (from Indianna) echoes the sentiment of fun, fitness, and friendship: “I truly enjoy playing tennis. You don't have to be a competitive player to enjoy it. It literally lifts me up and puts me into a healthy and happy mood for the rest of the week. Sure it’s a great way to stay in shape, keep that the spare tire away, and help keep you limber. The real icing on the cake is, we have a great time together. Everyone is so helpful and supportive, which is especially appreciated when you are new in town as I am.”

Cuenca Tennis was begun by former expat, Andre Zina, who has since moved back to the States, handing over the reins to Ken Lucero. Ken, a longtime USTA club player from California, helps coordinate play, serves as contact, and maintains the group’s associated FB page, Tennis in Cuenca.

With the $2.50/hr court cost split between four players, Cuenca Tennis provides an inexpensive way to enrich your expat life here in Cuenca with the fun of tennis, healthy exercise, and good friendship.

You can Like and follow Cuenca Tennis on their related FB page, Tennis in Cuenca. Contact Ken Lucero, administrator, for additional information at lucerok@yahoo.com. The Jefferson Perez Coliseo is located at Unidad National and 12 de Abril.

Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 10-noon., 1.25, Jefferson Perez Coliseo, Cuenca.

Ken Lucero: 099 373 5719. Call after Call after: 7 AM.